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POPE: 'A man who is alone ends up bitter, not fruitful, and he gossips about others'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/29/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Bishops and priests should air grievances face-to-face, pontiff says

"A man who is alone ends up bitter, not fruitful, and he gossips about others." Those are the words of the Pope, speaking out during a meeting with 123 priests working in the Diocese of Caserta along with 19 bishops from Italy's Campania region this past weekend. The Pope was speaking out on the dangers of a "sterile" form of celibacy which leads to bitterness and gossip.

The pope told the priests that 'creativity' is 'a divine word,' because God told Adam to care for the earth, make it bear fruit, 'be creative.'

The pope told the priests that "creativity" is "a divine word," because God told Adam to care for the earth, make it bear fruit, "be creative."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
7/29/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pope, bitterness, celibacy, backbiting, sterility


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Furthermore, the Pope says, when a priest disagrees with his bishop or when bishops disagree with each other -- they must air their differences, however loudly. They must never speak behind each other's backs. A transcript of the pope's remarks has been released by the Vatican.

"Say it to his face," the pope recommended. "You're a man, so if you have something against your bishop, go and tell him. There may be consequences, but pick up your cross, be a man!

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The pope admitted that he has been tempted to gossip. "I've wondered if this isn't the consequence of a celibate life lived as sterility, not fruitfulness."

A priest in Rome, the Pope said, once told him that he was worried that so many priests and bishops are bitter and angry with each other.

"When we find a priest who lives with such anger and tension, we think: This man drinks vinegar for breakfast. Then, for lunch, pickled vegetables. And, in the evening, a nice glass of lemon juice," the Pope declared.

He told the priests it is normal and even "healthy" to get angry, but wallowing in that, not getting it off the chest, not airing differences directly, in speaking behind someone's back only leads to more damage.

The key to a fruitful life, the pope said, lies in "double fidelity and double transcendence: being faithful to God is seeking him, opening oneself to him in prayer, remembering that he is the faithful one," and "opening oneself to others" with empathy, respect and patience.

The pope told the priests that "creativity" is "a divine word," because God told Adam to care for the earth, make it bear fruit, "be creative."

As priests, that creativity must be inspired by the Holy Spirit and the only hope for that to happen is "the path of prayer," he said. "A bishop who doesn't pray, a priest who doesn't pray, closes the door, closes the path to creativity."

"We cannot be a church closed in on itself, navel-gazing, a church that is self-referential, that stares at itself and is incapable of transcendence," he said. "Going out is not an adventure, but a journey, it is the journey to which God has called us since the moment he told Abraham, 'Leave your homeland.'"

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